The New Heaven and the New Earth

“The New Heaven and the New Earth”
Revelation 21:5a from the Second Reading at Mass
Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year C)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.”

The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

Revelation 21:1-5a

Present-day wars, destruction, and chaos are not the final word. In Christ, all of creation is summoned to deification and union with God. The origin of the new Jerusalem, the city-bride, is neither the earth nor the sea (the old order) from which tyrants and false prophets arise (Revelation 13:1, 11), but God himself. For the Son of God, the only-begotten of the Father, has wed humanity and divinity in his person by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. “Mystical evolution” is not from below but from above, “out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:2).

Echoing John’s Prologue, the seer of the Book of Revelation invokes the image of the “tabernacle” (skéné) to speak of God’s dwelling among his people.

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

Baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” children of God become the very temple of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 6:19). The Gospel is “good news” indeed. Jesus, the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15), has conquered sin and death in the flesh and drawn us up to the Father in the Spirit.

The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

Revelation 21:5a

2 Replies to “The New Heaven and the New Earth”

  1. Dear GMC, thank you for your beautiful reflection. It reveals God’s love to humanity and makes us fall in love anew with our Creator. Thanks be to God, GMC, for the ways you help me develop the depths of my faith and find peace and healing. I still stay close to Our Lady of China and ask her to pray for us. Amen.

    1. “Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
      honor, power, and might
      be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
      -Revelation 7:12

      Our Lady of China, pray for us!

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